JEROEN VAN DER DRIFT
CAMERAMAN
Associate Member of the Netherlands
Society of Cinematographers (NSC)

OPERATION GUINEA PIG
Director: Sander Rietveld
Production: Zembla

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‘Operation guinea pig’ Every day, surgeons put hundreds of implants in patients, for example as part of heart, breast or pelvic operations. These implants are approved by the government using what is known as a CE marking, which indicates that a product is safe and allowed to be sold on the European market. However, extensive scientific research is not conducted until the implants are actually being used by surgeons. Consequently, patients unknowingly serve as guinea pigs. Moreover, even when an implant is approved to be sold there is very little in the way of safety checks. In March 2010 it came to light that the French manufacturer Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) had managed to evade monitoring for years and was using industrial silicones instead of medical silicones. Zembla’s investigation revealed that the French inspectorate wrongfully failed to summon tens of thousands of women who received the breast implants prior to 2001 to have their implants removed. Nominations: Loep 2012 (the VVOJ award for investigative journalism)